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Malaga expect UEFA ban to be overturned

Malaga director general Vicente Casado insists the club are now operating under a sustainable business model and he anticipates that their ban from UEFA competition for not adhering to the new Financial Fair Play rules will soon be quashed.

UEFA announced last month that the Qatari-backed La Liga outfit would be banned from European competition for one season and fined €300,000, having been found guilty of unspecified financial irregularities.

But Casado believes Malaga's problems with UEFA should be a thing of the past because the Andalucians have put their financial house in order, predicting that the club's "unfair" punishments will be withdrawn.

"I am disappointed by a decision which I consider unfair," Casado told Marca. "I believe there is a mistake. But I am not worried, because we are relaxed and confident that we have fulfilled our obligations."

Casado said Malaga assumed the judgement was based on out-of-date information and the club's finances were now all in order.

"Malaga currently has no due debts," he said. "That is very important. There is long term debt, like any team, which we must pay within two years. These are relatively small, due to other clubs. We have an agreement with the taxman, for a sum of less than €10 million, which is small in the world of football. The players went on holidays with their wages all paid up to date."

The Boquerones executive added that the processes used by UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) were oblique.

"They have told us the punishment but they have not yet sent us the details," Casado said. "That is like being put in jail without knowing the reason. We hope to have them by the middle of January."

The ruling was especially unfair as the club had been put back on sound financial footing in recent months by improvements made on and off the pitch, Casado claimed. "Last Saturday we had the AGM and presented a surplus for this season of €5 million," he said. "That is thanks to the success on the field in the Champions League, the sale of players, a rise in TV revenues and a rise in season ticket revenue. That means this year we will be on the right line."

This meant that Malaga - whose billionaire owner Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani invested about €190 million in his first two years in charge - were now a model of financial fair play, Casado claimed.

"We are not against financial fair play," he said. "It seems to us a very good instrument of economic control for clubs. We are totally in favour, we want to be an example of financial fair play and since last summer we have been working on that. We have changed from being a club where there has been a lot of investment to a club which looks for a financial balance.

"We sold two stars (Santi Cazorla and Salomon Rondon last summer), we signed players on free transfers and we have become more competitive. That is a demonstration of financial fair play. So we are very relaxed and sure all will be sorted out."

Casado also said he hoped the local authorities on the Costa del Sol would show their appreciation of what Al-Thani has given them by selling the club their current stadium for a fair price.

"That is one way they could help us," he said. "To be able to buy La Rosaleda at a symbolic price, with payment facilities, for us would be a way to continue building a solid base for the future."

In the meantime Casado did not rule out the sale of players such as mooted €20 million Tottenham and Manchester City target Isco or Spain left-back Nacho Monreal to raise the funds required to run the business day to day.

"We are a team who wants to keep hold of our current players," he said. "But this is football and that depends on many factors."

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